I have just started my eighth year teaching and my eighth year in this wonderful art classroom! Each year, I love this space even more. A few things have been moved around or displayed in a different way, but the biggest changes have been additional furniture and organization!
This year, I have a new huge piece of furniture for large paper. I also added drawers to give all of those little things cluttering my tiny closet a real home. The cabinet reduced my free choice art area for students who have finished their work, but I think the smaller space actually works better. Students now have to go back to their seat or the floor to work on these activities and won't try to work at that small counter.
I have also worked to reorganize my desk area! For the first few years of teaching, I didn't have to do much filing because I didn't have many lessons or handouts. But at this point, I was seriously needing a better system than filing boxes shoved in a cabinet. I purchased three of these file carts from Amazon and made tops for them. This area gives me even more counter space and a convenient place to easily file lessons.
So far, all of the changes made to the art classroom have been successful. It has been great to get back into this space and start learning and creating with my students once again! Soon their beautiful art will fill the walls and made the room even happier!
This is my sixth year teaching and my sixth year in this wonderful little room! I believe that art rooms should be bright, functional, and inspiring places to create and learn!
I love all of the open shelving in the classroom. It allows me to be creative when arranging the spaces and supplies and helps to create a colorful studio atmosphere. I have the tiniest closet, so I have to really make use the shelving. Having easy access to all of the supplies is also incredibly helpful when teaching. If I need to change part of a lesson in the middle of class or if a student has a great idea they want to try out, it is simple and quick to grab materials.
New to the classroom this year:
We do have a few new things in the classroom this year. It's fun to change things up, especially since I have the same kids every year. It gives them something new and exciting.
Two additional step stools. I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier! Of course more than one student can be at a sink at a time! This should make things a little faster during our messiest cleanups...
Palette classroom management system. I wanted to do something different with classroom management and rewards for classes this year. I found so many art related ideas on Pinterest and other websites, but I loved the palettes. Each class gets their own palette and they will earn their paint colors over the weeks. If a class earns ten or more Roars in one class period (we're tigers and the art room points have been Roars in the past), then they will earn a color. Classes earn Roars by doing things like having a great clean up, sharing well, answering questions correctly, and raising hands. On Friday afternoons, I will add the color paint splotches to the classes who earned them. I think this will help those classes that never earned the grade level art award in previous years. I used to give the top Roar earning class in each grade level and giant wooden paintbrush to hang outside their room for a month. I think with this new method, all classes will be capable of earning a reward. I'm thinking the rewards can be choosing their own seats for a day, doing art outside, using modeling clay for the last fifteen minutes of class, or having a snack, etc.
Colorful trays for turning in dry artworks. In the past, I have used their class folders as a place to put artwork, but we were having a hard time with that last year. Hopefully these brightly colored trays from Target will help students find their place to turn in work. There is a different color for each grade level and I labeled the inside and outside with the grade level.
Clean up visuals: I clean up six times a day every day, and discussing clean up procedures that often is exhausting. I try to ask students questions about clean up instead of simply telling them what to do, but I want them to be even more independent. I found art clean up visuals on Teachers Pay Teachers and they are incredible! I laminated them and will post them on the white board with each lesson I am teaching. Along with asking questions, these visuals will greatly help with our clean up procedures.
New mosaics! My upper grades kids made these construction paper mosaics last year. I can't wait for them to see the giant paintbrush and paint splatters up on the wall! It has become a little tradition for students to help make decorations for the next year. I love that I can already have some of their artwork hanging in the room on day one of the school year.
I am an ninth year art teacher with degrees in Art Education from Flagler College and the University of Florida, living and working in northern Florida. Each week, I teach over six hundred students in grades kindergarten through fifth. Here you will find what we are learning virtually and in the art classroom!